Is UK 2010 USA 2000?

UK Election 2010:  Cameron, Brown, and CleggTPM’s Josh Marshall sees some interesting parallels between the political shuffling after Britain’s uncertain election outcome with the 2000 election here stateside:

What reminds me of Bush v. Gore is the jousting and muscling for one or another to just get out. The Tories are making dramatic statements about Labour’s “humiliating” defeat and that, as David Cameron said, it’s “clear that the Labour government has lost its mandate to govern.”

Don’t get me wrong. Those statements are hard to quibble with. But obviously numbers should speak for themselves. But it’s in these cases where the actual result is unknown but also ambiguous that you’ve got these chest-thumping efforts to force the other guy off the stage, to create a fait accompli where the votes won’t quite do it themselves.

I assess this in great length at New Atlanticist in a post titled “Britain 2010 and America 2000.”

My three major points:

  • In both cases, people found out how little they understood about their political system
  • In the US case, calls for reform quickly faded once the political reality of institutional momentum set in.  I predict the same will happen across the Pond.
  • One key difference:   The Brits don’t have to live with the outcome for a fixed period.  And almost surely won’t.
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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.